Post # 1
A little background…
my wedding was 3 1/2 months ago. I absolutely love my photographer. I have yet to receive my wedding pictures back. She had them finished but as she was transfering them onto a CD, she lost them so she had to go back and re-edit. I was told they would be done by the end of January. I emailed her last Thursday to see how they were coming and didn’t get a response back. I emailed her again Monday and she did respond that they would be done this week. I emailed her back asking a few other things and I never got a resonse back. At this point, I’m incredibly frustrated and just want my pictures back. Communication since the wedding has been lacking (there were a few other times I tried to get ahold of her for non-wedding related things and I couldn’t get a response back). She did offer to do a free TTD session in the snow after the edited photos were lost but it hasn’t snowed her yet this winter.
Do I have the right to be upset or am I overreacting?
I wrote this email to her but haven’t sent it yet. I would appreciate some feedback.
I am at a point right now where I am very frustrated and disappointed. It’s been 3 1/2 months since the wedding and not only have we not received our pictures, communication has been lacking. I understand that you are busy and that you had to re-edit the pictures but the photopgraphy aspect of the wedding was the most important part for me and only seeing 3 images at this point is killing me. A few edited pictures posted to facebook would suffice. Or at least an email to keep me updates on the progress. I think you can agree that 3 1/2 months is a long time to wait for pictures. I got my hopes up thinking I was getting them this week and that too seems like it has fallen through. I would really appreciate some more communication and to see a few pictures to hold me over until we get them. Thanks.
Post # 3
Personally, I’m not one for writing emails when there are problems – it always sounds worse in on paper (and your email comes off harsh). Give her a call instead, and the fact she is hearing your voice might make more of a difference .
Post # 4
I disagree, I would definitely email her regarding your concerns. Emailing/writing does always come off in a different way if you were to speak it, but at this point she does know that she is behind and if communication is lacking, then that is her fault. She may be busy, but this is her business…and your wedding. There’s no reason to AT LEAST communicate if she’s not done with the pics. I would send it.
Post # 5
I would call her to follow up with the email. You really cant “not respond” when you are on the other line with someone.
Post # 6
I’d call her and express frustration about the deal and try to find out when to expect the photos. It’s only the first week of Feb, so they really aren’t THAT late.
Post # 7
I’d call her and say those things. If she doesn’t answer, just read the email onto her voicemail. I think it makes things more realistic when you hear a voice at the end than just words in an email, but that’s just me.
Post # 8
I would either do it over the phone or edit the e-mail a bit. I know u are angry and frustrated, but she knows that too. I would try to be as polite as possible and she will probably get a faster move on things. She may also cut some price off or do something extra. The fact is, she still has your pictures. If you get angry she will to the bare minimum. If you kill her with kindness she will go over and above to satisfy such and understanding costumer.
Just my opinion. I’ve worked retail and talked to cost on bills, or late fees, or unspoken fees, the list goes on lol. I’ve just personally found that the kill them with kindness tactic works best for both parties. Gl!
Post # 9
as pp said, call her first. maybe her inbox is over capacity, maybe she changed her email, maybe shes got something personal going… no excuse, but i think you’ll feel better if you take another approach before sending an angry email.
Post # 10
I’m all for expressing your anger in a reasonable way. I think your email is fairly soft (okay..I’m an aggressive communicator!)
Further, I would ask for a HARD deadline when you can expect that your project will be completed. Additionally, I would leave an online review once it’s all completed so that other people who may be considering her for their weddings can see your experience and avoid this hassle.
Post # 11
I am probably going to be a bit more sympathetic to your situation than perhaps some others will, because I went through this same situation, for a much longer period of time, with my videographer. At the end of our reception, he promised that we would have our edited wedding video (long and short versions) a month after our wedding. We did not receive anything until nine months after the wedding, and the only reason I believe we received our videos then is because I involved our venue, which had recommended our photographer. For months, I made polite telephone calls, left polite voice mail messages, and sent polite e-mails — all of which grew increasingly more insistent, while still remaining gracious … yet I was ignored. The few times I was successful in reaching our videographer, he was polite on the phone with me and assured me that everything was fine but that he was really backed up and had a lot going on in his personal life that was keeping him from being able to keep up with his work.
I believe it is important for you to maintain a record of your correspondence with your photographer, and your e-mail will help to provide that documentation. I also do not think your email is too harsh. You have written a very polite piece of correspondence that is expressing your strong disappointment that the photographer has not been honoring her contract by delivering to you your edited images in a timely manner, and that she also has not been communicating with you regarding this. I think your wording is fine. If you do not hear back from her after three or four days, then, as pps have suggested, I would try to reach her by phone again.
Post # 12
I like the idea of reading the email to her or her voicemail. I also think it’s key to ask for a hard deadline like a PP said. Good luck, you have every right to be frustrated!
Post # 13
Every photographer has a different time frame for editing a wedding. A typical edit for me takes about 3 days, but there are so many other things that go into running a business that I very rarely get to immediately sit down and have 3 uninterrupted days after a wedding. Things backlog, and my average delivery time is 3-4 weeks. I can’t think of ANY circumstance that would make me take over 3 months to deliver a wedding. I also can’t think of a circumstance where I’d lose all of the edits I had done, I have a very robust backup system. But if I did, and a client had already been waiting they would go to the very top of my priority list. What does your contract say about the terms of delivery for the images?
Post # 14
I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I hate reading stories like this (it makes the whole industry look bad). I hope it gets resolved soon.
I would be upset, too, and I’m glad you’re taking a little time to really think over your response. I have always found that being nice gets me further than getting angry. Once you say something angry, you can’t take it back. The photographer will likely become defensive and even harder to reach.
I would recommend the phone call if possible and just say, like you said, that if you could at least see a few of the photos, that would show that she is really working on them and trying to get them done for you, instead of leaving you in the dark.
I wouldn’t recommend threatening using the contract, but if your contract gives a specified turn around time, it doesn’t matter what technical difficulties she is having, you should still have your photos by the deadline in the contract. If it is past that date, maybe bring it up, but don’t threaten anything.
Post # 15
@Laurel C Scott Photography: I didn’t say a single thing about threatening anyone with a contract, I simply asked what her contract stated. Knowing the delivery terms of the contract would help us provide her with more sound advice.
Post # 16
@continuumphotography: Oh, I wasn’t implying that anyone said she should threaten – sorry it came off that way. I was just saying that I wouldn’t recommend threatening. Often when someone brings up the terms of the contract, it can be taken as a threat, so it is just important to treat that carefully if she were to bring it up with her photographer.